NANKANA SAHIB

The celebrations of 547th birthday anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, began with fervour here at Gurdwara Janam Asthan on Monday.

Elaborated s security arrangements have been made for the celebrations that will continue for three days.

All the entry and exit points of Gurdwara Janam Asthan have been cordoned off by police contingents to avert any unpleasant incident. The ritual of Akhand Path was observed on Sunday night that marked the beginning of the celebrations.

The celebrations include different rituals including Shabad Kirtan, Matha Teki, Ardas, Ashnan and visits to gurdwaras.

Thousands of Sikhs from Afghanistan, England, Canada, India and the United States (US) have arrived in Pakistan to take part in the holy celebrations.

Roads to Gurdwara Janam Asthan have been closed for all kinds of traffic and walk-through gates have been established at the entry point of the gurdawara. To ensure foolproof security, luggage of visitors is being scanned and the entry of all unconcerned persons has been banned.

The personnel of the Law Enforcement Agencies are monitoring the gurdawara round the clock through CCTV cameras.

Earlier, the Pakistani High Commission (HC) issued visas to at least 2,850 Indians Sikhs. Spokesperson for the commission had said that visas were issued to almost all applicants without any delay. The visas grant the Sikhs nine days stay in Pakistan from November 20 to November 29.

Earlier in the month, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Sadiqul Farooq reviewed security plan for safe celebrations of the birth anniversary.

The spokesperson for the board said that senior Sikh leaders, DPOs, DCOs, Rangers and other departments' representatives attended the meeting. A plan was finalised to provide foolproof security and reliable arrangements for the visitors.

The yatrees were received on November 20 by ETPB's Chairman and secretary at Wahgah among other officials.